Sunday, March 18, 2012

How to get what you want in life

I've just finished a very busy and enjoyable weekend capped by a very formal dinner last night for the 40th anniversary of the Chaine Des Rotisseurs, which was full of pomp and ceremony, and then today the final tournaments for the President's Cup at the Manila Polo Club, which was organized by the board of directors of Manila Polo Club, the Ambassador of Argentina, and the Chaine des Rotisseurs.

The afternoon began with champagne and polo tournaments, followed by the awarding ceremonies and a cocktail party right on the lawn (one of my favorite parts), and then an intimate Japanese degustation dinner for the Manila Polo Club board members, some polo players and the members of the Chaine des Rotisseurs.


I was really planning to write about the weekend tonight. But today, my old friend XX sent me an email with a pretty inspirational message. He's always sending me interesting stuff to read on my phone -- sometimes it's health stuff like how to avoid cancer or live longer, while other times it's a funny anecdote or tips on how to do some thing better. Most of the stuff was passed on to him by other people, and he just sends them on to me.


They're good to read in the car, especially as most of the time, they're short articles on how to do something -- anything -- better. He's one of these people who you might classify as an over-achiever and a super hard worker, and I guess he got to be this way because he's always trying to do things better than the previous day. I know a zillion people in this town, and I think he's one of the most successful self-made businessmen in the country, even if he had a headstart from old family wealth. He still made much of what he owns and runs today 100% on his own.

He's been pretty much like this ever since I first met him -- always achieving, always moving forward, never ever living a purposeless moment.


I remember how we once had dinner in Tokyo a long time ago, around the time we first met many years ago. We met up in Omotesando, Tokyo's most fashionable district, and he had reserved a kaiseki meal at a very nice Japanese restaurant in Akasaka. And his plan was for us to walk from Omotesando to Akasaka before dinner so that he could get his exercise, catch up with me for a bit more than just dinner time, and also see what was new in Tokyo along the way.

That's him -- always trying to do everything at once, all the time. In a way, we're pretty similar, except he's a hundred light years ahead.


Sometimes I respond after I've read the message, but most of the time I don't. I just read it and smile. But today's email from him hit the right spot as it's kind of the same philosophy I've always based my life on. I really believe in making your own fate, in carefully making choices and calculated risks; and that happiness, success and the achievement of one's goals -- whatever these goals are -- is the sum of a million decisions that are mostly your own. Too few people realize that the small decisions create the big picture.

So when I read this email on my phone today, I sent him a message: "I love this particular one."


So I thought I'd share a portion of the email with you. Unfortunately I didn't write it. It's part of a speech recently undertaken by a motivational speaker in the States, and it's certainly always food for thought. An account of the two Chaine dinners and the really fun Polo tournament cocktails tonight will just have to wait a while longer.

* * *

(An excerpt from a speech by a motivational speaker)

Everything is a choice. Health is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Prosperity is a choice. Integrity, honesty, honor, work ethic . . . all choices. Put enough good choices together and you end up with a pretty good life. String enough bad choices together and you’re screwed.

Success is also a choice. Just like being fit, happy and financially secure are all choices. But none of these things are one single choice. Instead they are made up of millions of tiny choices.

For instance; eating one 5,000 calorie meal won’t make you fat. But eat a few hundred calories more than you burn every day for a period of years and you end up a tubby.

Buying one pair of shoes that you can’t afford won’t make you poor; it might leave you broke until payday, but it won’t make you poor. But spend just a couple of dollars more than you really have to spend every day on a pack of gum or a soda or the like and before you realize it, you’re deep in debt with no way out.


One evening of mindless television doesn’t hurt you but if you do it night after night, your future could be ruined. Being late to work one time probably won’t cost you your job, but do it too often and you will end up unemployed.

Don’t say “thank you” once and the next time it becomes easier; and soon you will be perceived as ungrateful. Let serving one customer slide through the cracks and tell yourself “Oh well, it’s only one.” and soon you won’t have enough customers to stay in business.


In every situation, success at anything comes down to little bitty choices. Choices that are so seemingly insignificant that we can't believe they would have any long term devastating impact, but they do.

Everything ultimately matters. Every little choice you make or don’t make either moves you closer to your goals or farther away from your goals. No choice is ever neutral.

The choices you have made up until now determine the level of success you are experiencing right now. That’s just how life works: you live the consequences of your choices.

What direction are your choices taking you?

Best wishes for a most wonderful week ahead, from all of us at TRAVELIFE Magazine, the Philippines' leading travel & lifestyle publication.



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